Pearls of Wisdom - Five of Cups

Rede Seeker

Sunshine, a rainbow, a bird on the wind - a sleeping Earth Spirit, a waterfall, bridge over the stream and a well trodden path flanked by verdent grass - butterflies abound. The background here is alive with vibrant activity. So why is the central figure in tears?

A blonde woman in a blue-hooded robe cries into one of the golden cups she holds. Her robe is belted by a strand of pearls which end in a golden tassel. She wears a pearl earring and her feet are bare. Her blonde hair is braided. She stands on the well trodden path. There is a golden cup in each hand. Both are overflowing, spilling crystal-blue liquid on the dirt path. Her tears fall into the cup she holds in her right hand. The butterflies seem to be swarming around her.

There are three golden cups laying on the dirt path, their contents spilled onto the ground.

So why the tears? Her hood covers the right side of her face so she can't see the bounty of the sun, rainbow, waterfall, bridge, etc. She can only see what is directly in front of her left side. But still, there is the brihgt greenness, the freely flowing river, the well trodden path, the butterflies. What's wrong with this picture? Only the weeping woman knows. And it would seem to be such a profound sorrow that she can't see the richness around her even with her restricted vision. Her sorrow is adding to her loss as seen by her tears filling one of the overflowing cups that she holds. There is sorrow here and no indication of how one can break through that mindset - if she can't see for herself, how do we help her see?

There is a down-turned golden cup on either side of the arch. Both cups pour blue-crystal liquid down the sides. There are butterflies on both sides on the card's border. There is a fallen golden cup at the left corner. The crystal-blue liquid flowing from the golden cup in the upper left corner continues to flow down and around it. There are two standing cups on the lower right corner. Both cups are being filled by the blue-crystal liquid flowing from the golden cup in the upper right corner. These standing cups have a single strand of pearls around their bases, joining them.

The Rune Uruz is marked on the left side; Othila is marked on the right. Uruz is the forming force, the Wellspring. Othila is Ancestral Might, heritage. The Wellspring continues to flow for our sorrowing woman, although she can't see it. Access to that Wellspring is her birthright (Othila).

Uruz = 2
Othila = 24
Rune Total = 2 + 24 = 26
26 = 2 + 6 = 8 = Wunjo, the Rune of Joy and Fellowship

Our sorrowing woman has access to healing and if she takes it, happiness will be hers again. The problem remains - how to make her see this? It's a matter of the Heart and Soul (Suit of Cups) not Intellect (Suit of Swords).


This card doesn't look as sad and ominous as most RWS based 5 of Cups cards do.

The RWS card is dominated completely by the black grieving figure.. In a spread it almost places an obstacle there, something that is very hard to get past.

I love what you say about her own sorrow adding to her loss, I hadn't noticed the tears falling into the cup before you mentioned them here.
I also love what you say about the right side of her hood blocking her vision so that she can't actually see the waterfall, the path and the bridge that will eventually take her away from this sorrow.

The butterflies show a transformation so this is a transformation brought about by the sadness and grieving that this woman is undergoing...
Grief is necessary, yes we can say that 2 cups are still full so there is still hope but she must grieve until she is done...The sorrow is a necessary one and one that cannot and must not be ignored.
When she is ready she can begin to focus on the cups that are still full but not until she is ready. Then she can take the path to the bridge and the rainbow.